Rebuilding All Saints'

The second church on the site of All Saints was demolished in 1848. The building was in a dilapidated condition prior to demolition. The spire had fallen out of the upright and was cracked along its whole length while the side walls of the church were rapidly falling into ruin. The decision to re-build the church was  taken by Rev. Alfred Butler Clough the Rector from 1838-70. Both the present church and the Old Rectory, now called Merry Hill House, are monuments to his vision and energy.

The cost of the church re-building was £6800, exclusive of the old material. The money was raised by voluntary subscription, aided by grants from the Church Building Society and the Peterborough Diocesan Society. Among the subscribers were Her Majesty the Queen Dowager, the Patrons of the Living (Jesus College, Oxford) and the Oxford Canal Company. The individual amounts varied from small sums to £320. At this time it was not unusual for Canal Companies to contribute towards the building of churches and chapels perhaps when they should perhaps have been  contributing  towards the physical needs of their labour force.

Interior of the churchIn outline the new church was similar to its mediaeval predecessor in having no north chancel. The body of the church was made wider to provide accommodation for the enlarged population which had followed the coming of the canals. The new church had the number of seats increased from 363 to 732. Despite the overwhelming impression of space and light the interior design of the church was rather austere.

Within a very short period after the completion of the new church the prosperity of Braunston was challenged by the coming of the Railways and the way in which the boatpeople operated was to change with families taking to living aboard.

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